It's come to my attention that some things I just take granted now. I guess I've just developed a sixth sense about Jerry. I mean, I can read his mind (AND THAT'S SCARY), I can finish his sentences, I know what he wants to eat without his asking and sometimes I can read his opinions on things. I don't make a move without having his needs in the back of my mind. It's just automatic. A new email friend recently wrote how she panicked when she lost her her newly diagnosed husband in a crowd. It brought back such a vivid memory of when I lost Jerry in a crowd in Washington, D.C. in the early years of his diagnosis. We were watching the Presidential Inaugural parade with another couple when we all looked around and didn't see Jerry. I completely panicked and felt my heart racing. My coping skills usually send me into overdrive and I was searching frantically with thoughts of "how will I ever find him?" and "how will he find me?" went racing through my mind. I found him about a block back in the middle of another crowd. I'm not really sure he knew he was lost. Oh! Be still my beating heart!
It's hard (or, it was) telling when Jerry was lucid and when he wasn't. When he was lucid, it made me think he was quite normal "the way we were" so to speak. I would carry on and get caught up as if there was no handicap. Then, he would have a set back and be "gone". Remember the movie, The Notebook, when James Garner was having a romantic dinner with his beloved wife? He was reading to her and she began to remember and become who she had been. He was sucked right into the moment. Then, all of a sudden, she "left". She panicked because she didn't know who he was. He was devasted. That's what this disease does. One moment "your here" the next moment "your not".
Over time, as the disease progresses, we caregivers become "trained" not to hang our emotional hopes on those lucid moments. I've learned to enjoy those moments for what they are, just "a moment." Does that make sense?
Our conversations are the same. Just a moment. And many times, when we've had lots of moments all added up in one event, it takes everything out of him. Then he's has to rest. So, I'll take those moments. Short or long moments. They add up to a wonderful companion. Some people never even have that.